Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

canicular

play
adjective ca·nic·u·lar \kə-ˈni-kyə-lər\

Definition of canicular

  1. :  of or relating to the dog days



Did You Know?

The Latin word canicula, meaning "small dog," is the diminutive form of "canis," source of the English word canine. "Canicula" is also the Latin name for Sirius, the star that represents the hound of Orion in the constellation named for that hunter from Roman and Greek mythology. Because the first visible rising of Sirius occurs during the summer, the hot sultry days that occur from early July to early September came to be associated with the Dog Star. The Greeks called this time of year "hēmerai kynades," which the Romans translated into Latin as dies caniculares, or as we know them in English, "the dog days."

Origin of canicular

Middle English caniculer of the star Sirius, from Late Latin canicularis, from Latin Canicula Sirius, diminutive of canis


First Known Use: 12th century


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up canicular? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the Celtic May Day festival

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

angry prompt oily maudlin
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ